HOW TO prepare

SEAFOOD for cooking

There are a couple of steps you need to take to prepare seafood products for cooking. 


  • If you want to cook the prawns in their shells, remove the head by twisting and pulling it off. Next, cut a slit in the back with a sharp knife to expose the vein. Pull out the entire vein and rinse it under cold water while scrubbing lightly.
  • If you want to remove the shell, pull the legs off and peel off the shell, leaving only the tail intact. Then devein the prawn as above.
  • To reduce cooking time, you can butterfly the prawns by running your knife down the incision again to deepen it – but do not cut all the way through.


COOKING TIP: How to clean prawns.

From the set of VIA’s Kookpunt, Chef Yolani Abrahams shares her top tip for cleaning prawns – and it involves removing guts!

Watch the video


  1. Put the mussels in a deep bowl or bucket covered in heavily salted cold water. Leave it there for at least 20 minutes. This allows the live mussels to expel the sand inside their shells. Remove all broken mussels and any open mussels.
  2. Remove the beard by cutting it off and scrubbing the remains of the beard clean with a brush.
  3. Keep mussels cold before cooking.


  1. Scrub the clams if they are fresh.
  2. Check for broken shells
  3. As with mussels, simulate sea water by putting the mussels in a deep bowl or bucket covered in cold water that is heavily salted. Leave it there for 2 hours. In this time, the clams will purge any sand inside the clam, leaving it clean and fresh.
  4. Keep cold before cooking.

calamari / squid

  1. Rinse squid in cold water if necessary
  2. To tenderise, you can leave the squid in a solution of 1 cup of milk with 2 teaspoons of salt for 30 minutes in a fridge. Buttermilk or lemon juice can also be used.